Horsham resident Lorinda Buckman got a "rude shock" when her bowel cancer screening test from the government came back positive in 2007.
"I thought it had to be a mistake. They told me to do a colonoscopy which I thought was just routine," she said.
"The next thing I knew the doctor was standing over me, saying I had bowel cancer.
"That was a bit of a rude shock, but I thought everyone else gets it why shouldn't I?"
Before moving to Horsham eight years ago, Ms Buckman lived in the Orana region in New South Wales, a high-risk cancer area.
"Nuclear bomb tests took place in Maralinga a long time ago," she said.
"There is a high-cancer rate in the central west, they think it is because of the nuclear trials.
"A lot of people have cancer in that area ...they also have a very active cancer-fighting community."
Ms Lorinda said she was "blessed" not to need chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.
"I only had surgery and a hemipelvectomy which is when they take out part of your bowel," she said.
"They got it all ... I am still alive and kicking.
"I get regular checkups and I am under the care of a gastroenterologist in South Australia. I am not due to see him until next year."
Ms Buckman said the most challenging part of cancer was witnessing the impact it had on her family.
"I felt like I was in the eye of a cyclone and they were the ones that were being twisted and torn, and I could do nothing to help," she said.
"My daughter also got breast cancer in her 30s ... she is coming up to eight years of cancer-free.
"I had always led a healthy life. I don't eat red meat which they say is a carcinogen and a bad thing for bowels.
"Before I was diagnosed I was a bike rider. The doctor said what ever you do don't stop your exercise program that's the best thing in your favour ... I ride 150km on my bike every week."
Ms Lorinda is a clinical administrator at Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village and said it has been stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Aged care is quite stressful at the moment ... I have just been walking and working.
"I first joined the Relay for Life council in NSW and I have been on the Horsham committee for eight years."
This year, Daffodil Day will take place on Friday August 28, to raise funds for Cancer Council's life-saving cancer research.
Cancer Council Victoria aims to raise more than $300,000 this Daffodil Day Appeal.
Ms Buckman said it was essential people donated to support cancer treatment and screening.
"There is such a high percentage of cancer in the community and it is growing sadly," she said.
"I would encourage everyone to do a cancer screening test.
"The survival rates are up, but if we don't keep fighting it will overcome us."
Victorians are encouraged to donate online this August. For more information or to donate visit daffodilday.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85.
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